An active trading on specific blue chips helped stocks on the HCM City market rally on April 20 despite a recording-breaking city inflation rate in April, its highest since May 2008.

The HCM Stock Exchange's VN-Index rose 1.05 percent to 458.5 points.

Activity remained modest with just 21 million shares, worth a value of 453.6 billion VND (21.8 million USD), traded.

Only 13 of 288 listed stocks and fund certificates hit their ceiling prices in the session, including blue chips Vinpearland (VPL) up 4.9 percent to 64,000 VND, insurer Bao Viet Holdings (BVH) up 4.7 percent to 78,500 VND, and PetroVietnam Finance (PVF) up 4.6 percent to 20,600 VND.

Brokers in a Hanoi-based securities company expressed the view that rally in the southern market was based on specific blue chips which had lured significant attention from foreign investors.

Foreign investors contributed 60-70 percent of trading on the BVH, VPL and PVF codes, with strong interest in BVH, the brokers said, adding the share rose to its ceiling prices three times during the session.

The insurer on April 19 announced its business strategy for the 2011-15 period, of which charter capital growth was estimated at 9.5 trillion VND (452.4 million USD) by 2015 to meet the subsidiaries' demands on business expansion while ownership equity would reach 14.3 trillion VND (681 million USD).

Total revenue at CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) will reach 12 percent growth to 2.1-2.2 trillion VND (100-101 million USD) to 2015; post tax profit 1.5-1.7 trillion VND (71.4-81 million USD) and a dividend payment in 2015 was expected to be 14-16 percent.

The group will pay shareholders a 2010 dividend payment of 1,200 VND per share for 2010 earnings, equivalent to a total of 816.5 billion VND (38.9 million USD) in dividend payments. This is equivalent to 12 percent of the new charter capital, higher than the 11 percent target set at the 2010 annual general meeting.

Masan Group (MSN), Phu My Fertiliser (DPM) and VietinBank (CTG) also registered slight gains.

Eximbank (EIB) saw the highest trading volume of 775,050 shares after closing unchanged to 14,600 VND.

Foreign investors continued buying more than selling in HCM City , buying 3.4 million shares and selling 2.3 million.

Meanwhile, the HNX-Index on the Hanoi market fell 0.19 percent to finish the session at 86 points. Losers outnumbered gainers by 167-100.

The value of the market remained modest at 276.1 billion VND (13.1 million USD) on a total volume of 21 million traded shares.

VNDirect Securities (VND) was the most actively traded stock, with 2.1 million shares changing hands. The VND closed up 1.5 percent to 14,000 VND. The company on April 20 announced a shift in its investment portfolio to IPA Asset Management, in order to end institutional trading from this June.

The company set a contribution of 30-40 percent from brokering provision into its earnings this year. /.